Derby point for Welwyn Garden City against Hertford Town after keeper shortage
PUBLISHED: 17:54 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 17:54 22 March 2016
Welwyn Garden City drafted in a teenage goalkeeper from Stevenage FC ahead of their 2-2 draw with Hertford Town on Saturday.
With first choice stopper Joe Croft in Wigan playing darts in a PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour event, back-up Freddie Hester unavailable and youth team keeper Marcus Bourne injured, City signed 19-year-old Kieran Clayton from the Stevenage FC elite development scheme.
With the previous meeting between the Citizens and the Blues back in December a hotly-contested affair packed with incidents, many of the 112 at Herns Lane were expecting much of the same.
However, they saw a niggly, scrappy affair with much of the time the ball hoofed high in the air.
There was one flashpoint on seven minutes which saw a large number of players involved, but this was easily dealt with by referee Jack Bloxham, who had an outstanding game, by the showing of yellow cards to John McGrandles and Tyler Hatherly.
WGC v Hertford Town
Kieron Clayton in goal for WGC
Carl Mensah hooks the ball forward
Luke Robins tussles with a defender
Daryl Smith comes across to challenge
Kieron Clayton in goal for WGC
Yasin Boodhoo backheels towards goal in the build up to Dave Parkinson's goal
Dave Parkinson (11) prods home from close range
Dave Parkinson celebrates scoring
Josh Bronti goes in for a tackle
It was the home side who were on top with Carl Mensah firing the first real shot of the game straight at keeper Harry Ricketts on 19 minutes.
Five minutes later a cross from Dave Parkinson saw Ashley Kersey denied from close range by combination of goalkeeper and defender.
Four minutes later a deft flick from Parkinson sent Kersey clear only for the striker to be thwarted by a last-ditch tackle.
The breakthrough arrived on 35 minutes as Parkinson’s low cross was dispatched into the back of the net by Luke Robins.
With their tails up the Citizens looked for further goals as the interval approached and a long throw from Jay Lovell into penalty area was met by the head of McGrandles but it flew just wide of the top corner.
Two minutes before the break the Citizens were rocked as Hertford Town levelled.
Yasin Boodhoo nudged Leigh Rose in the back inside the box and Hatherly sent Clayton the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick.
Two minutes after the restart, the visitors were ahead. Rose, who had been lively all game, pounced following confusion between Boodhoo and Clayton to lash home from close range.
Chances at either end saw Boodhoo beat the outcoming keeper to the ball from a free-kick but his backward header fell wide, while Louis Rose shot off target from a good position.
The introduction on 66 minutes of Nathan Dimmock for skipper Daryl Smith proved to be a turning point, and within four minutes the scores were level.
Dimmock’s ball in the area caused a goalmouth scramble which fell kindly for Parkinson who gleefully fired home the equaliser.
Again both sides had chances as each looked to find that winning goal in the closing minutes, but overall a draw was the right result and both sets of fans went home happy.
WGC: Clayton, Lovell, Welsh, Mensah, Boodhoo, McGrandles, Bronti, Smith (Dimmock 66), Kersey, Robins, Parkinson (Rashid 90).
Unused subs: C Arnott, Othen-Price and Perrin.